Into Darkness - Hayley Barrett

Into Darkness - Hayley Barrett 
"Fifteen-year-old Alexandra Spencer’s life was not supposed to turn out this way. She was not supposed to go on trial for a crime she did not commit. She was not supposed to be found guilty. And she was not supposed to be sent to Elder Grey Detention Centre, a place of horrors many don’t survive.

She is however, supposed to be the daughter of the wealthiest, most influential man in the post-apocalyptic New Zealand city of New Phoenix.

But apparently, she isn’t.

Shell-shocked and struggling to understand why she is no longer a member of the city’s ruling family, Alexandra is torn from her privileged life by the churlish young guard, Will Metcalfe, and forced to trek for three weeks through deadly wilderness to her place of imprisonment. Her journey with Will is a constant battle for survival, where she is never sure who is the real enemy. It is also journey into the truth about the safe and lavish world from which she has been cast. Through Will, she learns of a mutant race called Drifters living in the wilderness who are being preyed upon by New Phoenix’s guards—Drifter’s blood being a life saving cure-all elixir for the city’s inhabitants.

As Alex struggles to cope with her new life in Elder Grey, an act of friendship ends in tragedy. When someone she thought was an enemy pulls her from her despair, Alex discovers that old friends cannot be trusted, prejudice is another word for fear, and trust, not blood ties, make a family." - Goodreads

I received this book from the publishers via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

I read the synopsis of this, and I just had to have it. I've read a lot of books similar to this, so naturally... I had high expectations. Were they fulfilled? Not quite, but it was an entertaining read, nevertheless. I just felt that there were too many loose ends left untied, and some of the drama literally happened for no reason. 

I still don't really understand why some things happened, and if it were to have been left out of the book, it wouldn't have made much of a difference. Some of the drama-filled action scenes could have been written a lot better and I would have loved to see a lot of the action be more scary. I wanted to be fearful for the characters, but for some reason, I just knew they were going to be okay? I wanted some gasping moments (which yes, I did get, but not nearly enough as there could have been).

The main character, Alexandra was completely and totally unlikeable, but I felt it was fitting for her. She was from the City, it was how she brought up, to look down on the villagers, this is where the character development comes in. From the minute I picked this book up, I saw the potential for immense character development, and I wasn't disappointed. Alexandra grew into the main character we would all love and it was done near perfectly. Of course, I still didn't have any connection with her, I felt she had no emotion, she had no personality - but as the story is open for a sequel, I hope we get to see some more development going on. 

There were some heavy scenes in this book, with triggers of rape and abuse (so take that as a warning), but I'm not sure they were handled as well as it could have been. There are a few questionable morals in this book -but I guess that's just the way their world is.  

Overall, I enjoyed this book but I feel a few of the main plot points were lacking some substance, I can definitely see the potential with this new author, as a debut novel, it was good. I can't wait to see the growth from both the author and the characters in the next book (assuming there is a sequel!? - I hope so!) I rated this book 3.5* on Goodreads.

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